It’s that time of the year when we start thinking about improvements we can make to our life. However, whilst many people set a New Year’s resolution, few are celebrating reaching their goal in 12 months’ time.
In fact, it’s thought that about 80% of New Year’s resolutions have failed before February is over. Whatever your goal, it can be difficult to stick to changes and get into positive habits. So, what can you do to improve your chances of achieving your 2020 resolution?
1. Be realistic
The first thing to do is think about how realistic your goal is. You should be ambitious but don’t set yourself up to fail, it can be disheartening and mean you give up much sooner.
2. Look at why you’ve failed in the past
If you’re someone who has made New Year resolutions in the past but failed to see them through, take a look a why that is. Often small changes can have a big impact and help you strive towards your goals. Your mindset is important too. Starting on the path towards a goal already believing you’re going to fail can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Looking at what you’ll do differently this time can help.
3. Plan ahead
A year is a long time to focus on one goal and it’s easy for it t slip out of your mind after a few months. Creating a clear plan of how what you’ll do over the next 12 months can give you some direction. If you hope to run a marathon this year, for example, plan some smaller races in the months beforehand. Write down a clear plan so you can refer back to it.
4. Set mini-milestones
A huge goal can seem pretty daunting. Breaking it down into smaller milestones gives you an opportunity to celebrate the wins as you make them. Whether you decide to set a mini-goal every month or every three months, it can help to maintain your focus and see the progress you’re making. Reward yourself you reach one too, it can spur you on towards the next one.
5. Track your progress
After setting out a plan, it’s crucial you keep track of your progress. Marking down what you’ve already achieved can go along way when it comes to motivation. When you feel like giving up being able to recall how your efforts have already stacked up could be just the push you need. Depending on your goal, there are many ways to do this, from an app to an old-fashioned notebook. Find a way that works for you.
6. Tell others about your goal
Don’t keep your plans to yourself. Family and friends can really help keep you motivated. Telling others about what you want to achieve can make plans seem more real too and you may feel as though you can’t back out once people know. Surrounding yourself with positive people is important. If you can find someone who has similar goals, this can provide valuable support too. Whether it’s a buddy to go to the gym with or someone with similar career ambitions you can talk through obstacles with, don’t underestimate the value of some moral support.
7. Make it part of your current routine
New habits can be hard to form and take months before you do them without thinking about it. Making the actions you need to take to achieve your resolution part of your everyday routine can help. Whether it’s setting aside money every time you get paid for a financial goal or planning to go for a run when you get home if boosting fitness is your aim, you want it to become part of your life.
8. Be prepared to slip up once in a while
One of the challenges of sticking to New Year resolutions is continuing even after we mess up. It’s common to give up if we fall off the wagon once. But forgiving yourself is essential if you’re going to meet goals. One slip up doesn’t undo all your hard work up to the point or mean that further progress can’t be made. Rather than thinking you’ve failed or putting off getting back in track for a while, focus on the efforts already made and the next milestone.